Celebrating equal opportunities for girls in school sports

Bree DeYoung, Shelby Cavenaugh, Eden Lorin, Elena Stevens, Juliana DeYoung, and Sadie Town

Piedmont continues to honor the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the federal law which guarantees that no person will be discriminated against on the basis of sex in their education, including in school sports. Around town you can see girls, women, and many boys and men showing their support for Title IX with their black and gold t-shirts and hoodies. The Title IX celebration committee is using the funds from the merchandise sales and donations to raise awareness about the law and to advocate for improvements for girls’ sports at PUSD.

“I’m proud to support Title IX,” said Dan Cavenaugh. “It’s essential for our daughters to know and feel that their opportunities and experiences are the same as our sons. These impressions impact the trajectory of every aspect of their lives.”

Basketball coach Susan Terrill teaches the girls dribbling techniques during one of the Rec Department’s “Try It Out” sessions designed to encourage more girls’ participation in sports.

The Education Speaker Series kicks off this year on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. with Kim Turner, Positive Coaching Alliance’s Director of the Gender Equity Initiative, speaking about the Pursuit of Equity: Why Title IX Matters. Turner is a coach, athlete, advocate, and former nonprofit Title IX attorney who has spearheaded lawsuits around the country to bring school districts and universities into compliance with Title IX in order to give hundreds of thousands of girls a chance at a full educational experience. 

“We’re excited to have Kim Turner this anniversary year of Title IX to educate the community and show our girls that they should have every opportunity in athletics just like the boys,” said Dana Lung, Piedmont Education Foundation board member and chair of the Education Speaker Series.  

Even elementary students will learn about Title IX this year, as the celebration committee plans to use some of its funds to purchase age-appropriate books for each of PUSD’s school libraries. The books will be chosen by the school librarians and will include titles such as Nike is a Goddess: The History of Women in Sports.

Meanwhile, the Title IX celebration committee also continues to advocate for PUSD to come into compliance with Title IX. The first-ever audit conducted by the school district over the course of 2021-22 showed significant deficiencies between the boys and girls athletic experiences in Piedmont. For example, Piedmont offers 55 fewer slots for girls to participate in high school sports than boys.  

“Athletics provide significant benefits for girls and boys alike, and Piedmont girls want that opportunity,” said Mary Wells, a volunteer on the committee. “I’m happy the district conducted an audit last year and promised to follow up annually.” 

For anyone interested in buying a t-shirt or hoodie, sales at the Piedmont Store will continue through Aug. 26. Tickets to the Title IX Education Speaker Series event can also be purchased on the store HERE.  

Stay tuned for details on the Appreciating Diversity Film Series, which will screen a pair of short documentaries (The Queen of Basketball and Mink!), and the spring of 2023 Readmont book, which will focus on Title IX.  

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